Agnes's Feed
Sep 6, 2011

U.S. mortgage suits inflict super-damages on banks

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Margaret Doyle and Agnes Crane

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Just when investors
in European and U.S. banks thought things couldn’t get worse, 17
financial institutions have been sued over $196 billion-worth of
toxic mortgage bonds. Bank shares fell up to 12 percent across
Europe with U.S. markets closed. But it’s hard to rationalise
the falls on the basis of the lawsuit alone.

Sep 6, 2011

Breakingviews-U.S. mortgage suits inflict super-damages on banks

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions
expressed are their own)

By Margaret Doyle and Agnes Crane

LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Just when investors
in European and U.S. banks thought things couldn’t get worse, 17
financial institutions have been sued over $196 billion-worth of
toxic mortgage bonds. Bank shares fell up to 12 percent across
Europe with U.S. markets closed. But it’s hard to rationalise
the falls on the basis of the lawsuit alone.

Aug 31, 2011
via Breakingviews

More U.S. mortgage help isn’t needed

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

There’s talk of yet more government help for careworn American mortgage borrowers. Washington has already made Herculean efforts. But there’s no magic bullet and returns are diminishing.

Aug 19, 2011
via Breakingviews

Texas governor unlikely small government champion

By Agnes T. Crane and Christopher Swann
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Rick Perry, the latest U.S. presidential hopeful, has said he wants to make the federal government “inconsequential”. Yet as Texas governor he has presided over the creation of more government jobs per head of population than Washington. These and other new jobs have been good for Perry’s state. But their origin contradicts his small-government rhetoric.

Aug 12, 2011
via Breakingviews

Financial lifeboats starting to get crowded

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

The financial lifeboats are starting to get crowded. Investors in droves have sought safety in Uncle Sam’s debt, and even bonds backed by American homes. But on Thursday, vessels of refuge showed how quickly they can be rocked when too many investors pile in.

Aug 10, 2011
via Breakingviews

Markets could force Fed to empty the chamber

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Markets could force the Federal Reserve to use up the rest of its arsenal. Although investors found comfort in the central bank’s stated “range of policy tools” on Tuesday, by Wednesday morning they had a change of heart. The slide could press Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to fire sooner rather than later to keep recession at bay. Trouble is, he’s packing a BB gun not a bazooka.

Aug 9, 2011

Don’t blame S&P for the madness of markets

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

By Agnes T. Crane

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Don’t blame Standard & Poor’s for the madness of markets. The credit rating agency targeted U.S. debt, but it was stocks not Treasuries that got clobbered on Monday. The counterintuitive reaction, however, is less bonkers than it seems.

Aug 7, 2011
via Breakingviews

Timing of S&P U.S. downgrade couldn’t be better

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

The Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States couldn’t have come at a much better time. Markets may be wobbly, but interest rates are at historic lows and buyers of U.S. debt are plentiful as the world braces for another economic slowdown. There may be some initial turbulence when investors return on Monday, but if the rating agency waited until markets acted first the consequences would be far more severe.

Aug 4, 2011
via Breakingviews

Plunging markets reflect ugly political paralysis

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Thursday’s market plunge reflects, as much as anything, an ugly political paralysis. This phenomenon, rather than any particular headline, seems to have freaked out investors, sending U.S. stocks down around 4 percent at one point, Treasury yields below 2.5 percent, oil under $90 a barrel and even gold off 0.5 percent. Politicians’ brinksmanship in Europe and the United States makes for great theater, but it has done little to resolve what most troubles the global economy: too much debt and no clear plan to pay it off.

Jul 30, 2011

Markets could be making a Lehman-like mistake

(The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.)

By Rob Cox and Agnes T. Crane

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – On the Friday before Lehman Brothers went belly up in September 2008, most investors made a critical miscalculation. Based on historical precedent, namely the rescue of Bear Stearns, they assumed that Uncle Sam would ultimately come to the Wall Street firm’s rescue. Now, on the last Friday before the U.S. government faces a far larger cash crunch of its own, are global financial markets once again making a similar mistake?